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MARUSKIN: Services still available from the local library

As everyone knows, nothing will be happening at the library until Monday, April 6, so we ask everyone to keep any library materials at home until we reopen.

The book drops are currently closed, but all fines will be waived.

We’re working with our circulation software company to automatically renew any and all materials that are checked out right now, even DVDs.

WiFi is still available in the library parking lot if you need to access it, and you can still choose and order seeds through the Seed Library’s online form at www.clarkbooks.org/seeds.

Even though our brick and mortar library is closed, there are loads of interesting digital services emanating from the online library.

If you’re looking for ways to while away your time or to educate or amuse yourself, your family or your children, head on over to the library’s website, www.clarkbooks.org, or visit the library’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/clarkbooks.

Library Director Julie Maruskin, and children’s librarian Misty Strain are recording stories which you can watch on the library’s Facebook page. Reference librarian Jeff Gurnee has a video in which he outlines the ways the library will be providing digital services and social media services.

Gurnee added a new “resources” tab to the banner at the top of the library’s home page. It is on the far right of the banner, right above the search box.

He created this page to share resources available for families and individuals in this time of recommended social distancing.

He begins the page with three important pieces of information.

First, a link to kycovid19.ky.gov, the Kentucky State government website devoted to the COVID-19 virus. It contains all the latest news about the spread of the virus in Kentucky and up-to-date recommendations for ways to protect yourself. If you have not already, you should add that website to your bookmarks or embed it in your browser or desktop.

If you find yourself unemployed because of COVID-19 or your employer has cut your hours by a fourth or more, you should file for unemployment online at kcc.ky.gov. You needn’t necessarily have been formally laid off.

If you have students at home that need to be able to do online work, but you do not have internet access, Spectrum is offering free high-speed internet to any household with a K-12 or college student. Learn more by calling 1-844-488-8395.

Next, there is a listing of local restaurants offering curbside pick-up along with their phone numbers.

Then he provides online educational, recreational and reference resources.

Under “educational resources” you can find links to fascinating websites like free online art lessons for kids (and adults) at Wild Free and Crafty; Scholastic Learn at Home, day-by-day projects to keep kids reading, thinking and growing for Pre-K through middle school; and for adults, Class Central, a collection of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCS).

You’ll also find virtual tours like the Cincinnati Zoo’s Home Safari, a livestream tour of the zoo streamed each day at 3 p.m.; the Louvre Virtual Tour; Virtual Tour of the Great Wall of China; Boston Children’s Museum Virtual Tour; and Access Mars, a virtual tour of Mars with recordings from NASA’s Curiosity Rover.

“Recreational resources” provides links to Mindful Basics from the OM place in Clark County; a 90-day free trial of a Peloton app with cycling, fitness and yoga classes (no bicycle needed); and the Planet Fitness free daily workout stream, on their Facebook page every day at 7 p.m. or on demand.

“Reference resources” will link you to the library’s Local History page which provides links to online genealogy and local history resources; and the databases page that gives online access to all sorts of services, from article searching to car repair.

The library provides online access to thousands of books, magazines, movies and music titles through the online library tab on its homepage.

If you have any questions, contact the library via social media, by texting 859-813-2991 or the chat feature at the bottom right of the library’s home or resource page to chat with a librarian.

Be sensible. Follow precautions outlined by Kentucky state government and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Stay well.

We miss not seeing you at the library, and look forward to seeing you as soon as possible.

John Maruskin is director of adult services at the Clark County Public Library. He can be reached at john.clarkbooks@gmail.com.